So begins my Acorn Electron unboxing... https://mastodon.technology/media/qwQ1w9W2COn7Zx1fumI
This is what the inside of those game boxes look like. There's an intro to the game and loading instructions on the inside cover. The tape itself is cut into the box https://mastodon.technology/media/Ee2XXLS6B3W0d114k58
Of course that's not what they all look like. Some are in these smaller plastic cases
Here's the Electron itself. It's been in someone's garage for years so the keys look a bit mucky, some of the keys stick and the expansion connector looks a little corroded.
I see this being an interesting restoration project https://mastodon.technology/media/5YJ1BoT1sZJric0oD-c https://mastodon.technology/media/iZ2rjeBjLOuIevxLxmA
This particular model doesn't have an in-built floppy drive, but I feel this is more than made up for by the extra accessories like a working tape deck and all the books it came with https://mastodon.technology/media/ffBDDCujvbM5FeKfvdk
I'm a little stunned at the crazy number of tapes I've been sent. This could take my months (possibly years) to fully explore!
Those tapes you see are stacked 3 high
@ajroach42 tbh I'm not sure if they accumulated them as a (very rich!) kid, diligently snaffled all their friends' cast offs when the Electron went out of fashion or if they were simply a collector that lost enthusiasm!
My guess is they kept buying them second hand through the nineties. Some of the price stickers drop down to as little as £2.99! 😂
The most important thing though is that the Electron does turn on! Tomorrow morning I'll hook it up to the CRT TV I use for retrogaming to see if that still works.
The tape deck doesn't have a power cable, but fortunately the connector looks fairly standard so I probably have a compatible plug buried away somewhere
After a little rummage, these are the most recognisable titles to me (without further research)
Yes, I do have two copies of Gauntlet for some reason!
(The others are SimCity, Chuckie Egg, Paper Boy, Tempest, Escape from Moonbase Alpha and Superior Soccer)
Interestingly despite having the keyboard insert for it I didn't immediately spot Elite. My guess is it's probably on one of the compilation tapes.
Failing that, I'll be downloading a copy and flashing it to a cassette myself. (You can't have an Electron and not play Elite! 🤓 )
My apologies for not CWing all this micro nostalgia btw. Tusky doesn't seem to have that option for some reason 🤦♂️
What I will do over the weekend is post a list of all the cassettes in this collection on my blog for people to pour over at their leisure.
I also suspect if I can get everything up and running that posting some video capture of these games on YouTube would probably be an awesome plan 👍
The photos will also be re-taken with a DSLR in better light conditions!
(It's nearly 2am UK time, hence the crappy smartphone pics of Acorn Electron & sundry)
The other thing I noticed was the "First Byte" expansion box. It seems to provide a serial port, which suggests that (if the expansion slot isn't too corroded) it can probably connect to a BBC-compatible 5.25" floppy drive.
(I'm not sure if 3.5" floppy drives with serial connectors exist or not. That would probably be more helpful in this day and age, albeit slightly less authentic!)
Also reading up on how to read/write to cassette tapes 🤓
@bobstechsite if you find Audiogenic Power Pack 2 and a fruit machine simulator game called Froot Raid on it, I wrote it in 1986 partly using BBCs at high school in Caversham (Northern suburb of Reading UK) and Acorn Electron at home. part written in BASIC with assembler stubs and all sorts of things considered Bad today such as 6502 ASM embedded in REM statements (!) and self modifying code (only way I could do that w/o disk drive at home)
@bobstechsite SSD link in the second link *should* work with an emulator, although when I played it in the web timing is off due to that emulator running way too fast.
TBH I was amazed to find it had even made it online and folk had preserved any part of it (alas, the original tapes and the Elk (which stopped working in the 1990s anyway) are long since gone, after house moves and my old family house being sold).
its based on real fruit machines from French exchange trip in 1985 ++
@bobstechsite ironically a 15 year old writing gambling-related computer games today (and partly using school computers to do it) and selling them commercially is probably against various laws in most of Europe (and a few other countries too!) 😆
@bobstechsite I can't remember whether I transferred the whole copyright to Audiogenic but I did get royalties for a few quarters (the power pack only had a limited run and Audiogenic either folded or went back to music production (which is where they started out) but the money basically covered the most of cost of the Electron which was cool as my family wasn't that well off back then.
Even back then I think my Mum and Dad had to be present when I signed the contract because of my age.